By Sarah Corbett
Granulation is a jewellery making technique which uses grains of metal to create a textured surface.
High purity Gold and silver alloys are generally used in the process of granulation as they are most suited to the practice.
Tiny squares of precious metal are cut from a sheet and then heated until molten. The molten metal gathers itself into a sphere, which is then allowed to cool. The resulting spheres can be graded by using sieves of varying mesh size.
Granulation grains are generally made from the same metal as base upon which they are applied, thus creating intricate and ornate designs.
The techniques of granulation are likely to have begun in Sumer in Mesopotamia ( now Iraq) around 5000 years ago.
The Phonetician trade routes spread the awareness of the style.
Etruscan people who lived in modern day Italy between 900BC and 6AD made exceptional examples of granulated jewellery.
Throughout history many countries have produced granulated jewellery, the presence of granulation on the surface of jewellery is a very visible show of wealth and status, as the technique and the extra weight of precious metal is expensive.